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Old 12-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
The story also said it can be used as an emergengy bilge pump, but the effectiveness of it and the ability to deploy it under conditions when you need it are very questionable.
Not really ... just rig up a non collapsible hose from a strum box to the hose connection on the strainer and it's done. If you need emergency bilge pumping through the raw water pump all you have to do is change over the valve on the strainer and voila - you are pumping the bilge.

It is a standard setup on big ships. On steamships we could cross over the main circ pump to the bilge and remove about 25,000 gallons per minute.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #22
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True, Rick, but in an emergency situation, I see the idea of moving the engine room floor panels and jumping into a flooding bilge full of dark water and no light while fumbling around in the water on top of a running engine (that is IF the engine is still running) trying to flip a valve to CITY as the best use of my time. Moreover, if there is a hole big enough to allow in the amount of water it would take to NEED to deploy such a system, I would think I would need to be trying to save lives by getting them into the lifeboat or on the bridge trying to get her up on a sandbar.

But that just me. In the rare possibility it COULD be needed... it might be a nice option. I just don't see it as a very easy or smart thing to use as an emergency device.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:52 PM   #23
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One of the things the captain of the 120' corporate yacht I was associated with for a bit did was to have every seacock and critical valve handle on the boat wrapped in silver reflective tape. That way, he said, if someone had to enter a space to find and shut off a valve and the power was out on the boat, the beam from a flashlight would make these handles stand out like sore thumbs even underwater. He demonstrated this to me once in the engine room (but not the underwater part) and it was impressive. I vowed to do this on our own boat but of course have not gotten around to it yet.........
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #24
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True, Rick, but in an emergency situation, I see the idea of moving the engine room floor panels and jumping into a flooding bilge full of dark water and no light while fumbling around in the water on top of a running engine
Hmmmmm, I see it more as you notice the bilge pumps are running and the high water alarm comes on.

You open the engine room hatch, there's no reason it should be dark, and turn that big handle on top of the strainer to select the bilge suction then head for the beach or another boat, or try and deal with the source of flooding.

If the boat has flooded to the point the batteries are underwater and the engine has quit there isn't much point in opening the emergency bilge suction anyway is there?
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #25
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That's all true... But I panic easily ;-)
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:22 PM   #26
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The OP questioned the wisdom of connecting a dock-hose to the engines' raw-water strainer. I had similar concerns when planning a fresh water flush system for my engines and genset: (a) would a hose supply enough water for an engine at idle? and (b) could I flood an engine by inadvertently leaving the hose running after switching off the engine? I decide that the answers were probably "no" and "yes". I ended up installing an old (clean!) 12 gallon plastic holding-tank in the bilge under the generator with piping and valves to suit. I can now run each motor in turn on fresh water and watch the water-level in the tank drop - it doesn't take long. I refill the tank with dockside water or through a dedicated line from the boat's supply, depending on what's available. The engines and genset suck water up from the tank, so there is no possibility of flooding a motor with pressurised water.

FWIW I timed how long the engines and genset each take to empty my little tank. Each engine (160 hp Yanmar 4LH-DTE's) uses around 20 gals/min at idle and the 6Kw genset uses around 12 gals/min. This suggests that a standard hose probably could not meet the demand of either.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:35 PM   #27
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I'm a big advocate of being able to pump your bilge with your engine cooling pump. That said I don't think the Perko 0593 strainer is the best way to do it. The problem is that you are limited to about a 3/4" intake hose for the bilge. That's fine if your engine uses a 3/4" pump but if yours is bigger, you lose pumping capacity.

It's a great way to flush your engine and certainly better than nothing when it comes to bilge pumping.

Another option would be to install a Groco SSC Flush Adapter on your seacock.
This allows you to flush your engine and in an emergency you have the full pumping capacity of your engine.


Add an SSC to the top of any seacock to allow instant emergency bilge pumping, or to simplify winterization and cooling system flushing.
IN AN EMERGENCY: While the connected engine is running, close the seacock and remove the quick release plug. Excess bilge water will be pumped overboard by the engine raw water pump. Add GROCO Bilge Strainer to pump out remote bilge locations. See Illustration

FOR WINTERIZATION: Close the seacock, remove the quick release plug and insert the service adaptor (included). Anti-freeze can be pumped into the cooling system.



FOR SYSTEM FLUSHING: Close the seacock and insert the service adaptor. Dockside water can be used to flush the cooling system with the engine running at idle speed. See Illustration
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:29 AM   #28
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Another issue with using the engine(s) as bilge pump is that someone has to be there monitoring it. If the water is coming in at a rate slower than the engine's pumping capacity, you have to switch it back to seawater cooling and then back... while trying to find and mitigate the leak. Engine likely to be running full speed towards land. Good to have at least three people on board. Some sort of purpose built crash pump which can also help in case of fire is preferred (say the water hasn't reached the engine room yet), but why not have the capacity if you can?
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:12 AM   #29
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.............. If the water is coming in at a rate slower than the engine's pumping capacity, you have to switch it back to seawater cooling and then back........
And if you don't your engine overheats and the impeller melts. Now you have a sinking boat with no engine. Not Good.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #30
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A 110V submergible commercial trash/crash pump with an adequate run of discharge hose (3" ID or so) allow one to pump water from any of your your bulkheaded areas. On our vessel we have 4 areas, each with its own potential leak spot. Provided you have a genset or larger inverter this may be worth considering. You can go as simple as a pool or basement sump pump or upgrade to a commercial mud pump.

psneeld - If the USCG or a "rescue tow boat" show up to pump your sinking vessel what portable pumps do they use?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #31
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And if you don't your engine overheats and the impeller melts.
No, you just position the valve so it take a suction from both sources. Since the strainer is below the waterline air pressure is less than sea pressure. Modulate the position so that there is always some water entering the engine driven pump. The pump has to run dry before the engine will overheat, not the other way around.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #32
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Rick, I like what you said about heading for the beach or another boat. If you are taking on water.
Spot on.
The first thing I would do if I was taking on water.
Ground her.

I don't have an inboard strainer. All I have is a scoop strainer on the outside of the boat. It seems to keep out the seaweed and grass. Never had a problem with anything else getting in. Must be something about boating in pristine water no trash.
Been running her for 10 years now with nary a problem.
Butt. I have one, never installed.
I'll get around to it one of these days.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #33
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" Modulate the position so that there is always some water entering the engine driven pump."

Easier said than done while the S is alliding with the F.

I am also curious as to how you determine that the engine is getting enough water.
Of course, if it is the through hull itself that is the cause of the leak, it's all moot. And if it is another usual suspect, the shaft log, and your through hull and strainer are located adjacent to it, the working conditions for proper "modulation" are, shall we say, challenged. Especially for you guys who have to go diving into a confined ER to get to this stuff. I have absolutely the most ideal access you could ask for, and still have these qualms.

As the tagline, probably a Steven Wright quote, of a guy on another forum I frequent says: "I want to live in Theory. Everything works there".
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #34
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Wouldn't it be simplest to just install the biggest electrical bilge pump you can find and plumb it overboard? Or multiple bilge pumps? On seperate batteries? And back this all up with a manual pump.

We can't account for every possibility or we would be wearing crash helmets and goggles while driving our cars. It's a matter of risk management.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #35
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Flushing a heat exchanger-cooled marine diesel with fresh water is not necessary. Every few years here in Florida, I pull the oil coolers on my engines and plug the oil ports before plunging them into a bucket of muriatic acid, just like the radiator shop I used to take them to did. The engine coolant heat exchanger is tougher to remove due to the necessity to dump the engine coolant; so I pour muriatic acid into its 5/8-inch zinc holder hole. By the time I screw the plug back in and start the engine, the little bit of acid in there has done its job.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:23 AM   #36
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What concentration of acid do you use?
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:07 AM   #37
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Too much acid and you LOSE your concentration

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Old 12-14-2012, 07:09 AM   #38
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Wouldn't it be simplest to just install the biggest electrical bilge pump you can find and plumb it overboard? Or multiple bilge pumps? On seperate batteries? And back this all up with a manual pump.

Simplest is a belt of the main engine and a 2 inch Jabsco with an electric clutch.

This pumps over 100 GPM with 2 inch hose.

Easy enough to fit it with a Y valve and a deck discharge for washing mud off anchor chain easily.Every anchor up would be a bilge pump safety check.

Obendorff makes similar electric pumps , but the batt bank would be thousands of pounds!
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:30 AM   #39
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I am also curious as to how you determine that the engine is getting enough water.
It isn't overheating is a good indicator


Quote:
"I want to live in Theory. Everything works there"
If you think about what can go wrong, plan on how to deal with it and practice doing it you might surprise yourself.

The alternative is to sit there and cry while your world falls apart around you. It's your boat and if you have passengers it is your responsibility to be able to deal with the situation you took them into.

None of the stuff I wrote is theory, it is a practical and frequently performed technique to keep a pump running when the source is less than its capacity. If the source is larger it buys time and that is the best thing available - don't let your "qualms" sink your boat or hurt an innocent passenger.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #40
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Keith, I get the acid from the pool supply store and use it straight out of the bottle. I foams up real good in there as I put the zinc holder cap back on. When done, I put a zinc in the holder.
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